top of page
  • Writer's pictureNancy Sokol Green

Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)

Here’s how Reactive Attachment Disorder symptoms may also be explained by retained primitive reflexes and incomplete lower brain development.

Problems with trust and attachment can be a sign of an underdeveloped pons. In natural brain development, the primary caregiver meets the baby’s needs so that she can feel safe and secure. However, children who were abused, neglected, or had medical emergencies that interrupted natural bonding between the parent and child may have missed important parts of pons development.

As a result, these children continue to rely on the primitive areas of their brain, even when they are no longer in those prior stressful environments. Fight, flight, or freeze responses to anything that is perceived as stressful may have become the norm since such kids live in a constant state of hyper arousal. These children’s prior experiences may have also “taught” them that people are unreliable. As a way of coping, they may then believe that they do not need others.

Poor eye contact and self-injurious behavior can also be signs of an underdeveloped pons. For example, children with an underdeveloped pons will not likely have good peripheral vision, and that is needed to maintain eye contact. They may also have high thresholds to pain, so such children seek extreme action (e.g. cutting themselves with razor blades) in order to help them “feel” something.


bottom of page